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ethics of buying potentially valuable items from non-collector6561

Collector brandon77 private msg quote post Address this user
Say you run across a group of books for sale at a yardsale or even from someone who's proclaiming they just want to "get rid of this junk..."

I'll give a specific (so far rhetorical) example:
Somebody is selling a bunch of knick-knacks including some old comic books. You know if you purchase these you can resell the books yourself (some runs, some standalone issues) to other collectors for, let's say $1,000 total. Granted, it would entail some effort and risk on your part, but again for the sake of argument let's say it's a pretty solid bet.

Let's say the seller will accept $50 on the spot. Do you feel the pang of conscience and disclose something to the effect of "maybe you should see how valuable these are before accepting such a small offer?" Or, do you just fork over the cash, offer them a heartfelt "thanks" and a handshake and bug out?
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Collector Frontier2Xterra private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by brandon77
Here's a dilemma we all may have to ponder one day:
Say you run across a group of books for sale at a yardsale or even from someone who's proclaiming they just want to "get rid of this junk?"

I'll give a specific (so far rhetorical) example:
Somebody is selling a bunch of knick-knacks including some old comic books. You know if you purchase these you can resell the books yourself (some runs, some standalone issues) to other collectors for, let's say $1,000 total. Granted, it would entail some effort and risk on your part, but again for the sake of argument let's say it's a pretty solid bet.

Let's say the seller will accept $50 on the spot. Do you feel the pang of conscience and disclose something to the effect of "maybe you should see how valuable these are before accepting such a small offer?" Or, do you just give them a heartfelt "thanks" and a handshake and bug out?


The chances of that happening are few and far between anymore with today’s technology. If someone is too lazy to research what they have and willing to sell on the cheap, snag it.
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Collector Robert86m private msg quote post Address this user
Nope if you take the effort to know the value and they didn't care to it really isn't the buyers problem
Post 3 IP   flag post
Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by brandon77
Say you run across a group of books for sale at a yardsale or even from someone who's proclaiming they just want to "get rid of this junk..."

I'll give a specific (so far rhetorical) example:
Somebody is selling a bunch of knick-knacks including some old comic books. You know if you purchase these you can resell the books yourself (some runs, some standalone issues) to other collectors for, let's say $1,000 total. Granted, it would entail some effort and risk on your part, but again for the sake of argument let's say it's a pretty solid bet.

Let's say the seller will accept $50 on the spot. Do you feel the pang of conscience and disclose something to the effect of "maybe you should see how valuable these are before accepting such a small offer?" Or, do you just give them a heartfelt "thanks" and a handshake and bug out?


i would buy but give seller more money than asking. in the end your conscious so you do what makes you feel you didn’t cheat seller
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Collector brandon77 private msg quote post Address this user
I may actually encounter this tomorrow, but I'm 95% sure it will end up being dog-eared 90s titles. What intrigued me was the offhand, almost dismissive wording of the ad. We'll see!
Post 5 IP   flag post
Collector CopperAgeKids private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by poka
Quote:
Originally Posted by brandon77
Say you run across a group of books for sale at a yardsale or even from someone who's proclaiming they just want to "get rid of this junk..."

I'll give a specific (so far rhetorical) example:
Somebody is selling a bunch of knick-knacks including some old comic books. You know if you purchase these you can resell the books yourself (some runs, some standalone issues) to other collectors for, let's say $1,000 total. Granted, it would entail some effort and risk on your part, but again for the sake of argument let's say it's a pretty solid bet.

Let's say the seller will accept $50 on the spot. Do you feel the pang of conscience and disclose something to the effect of "maybe you should see how valuable these are before accepting such a small offer?" Or, do you just give them a heartfelt "thanks" and a handshake and bug out?


i would buy but give seller more money than asking. in the end your conscious so you do what makes you feel you didn’t cheat seller


Agreed with Poka.

However, I would buy the books and get the seller's number.

Last thing you want to do is to tell someone their books are very valuable BEFORE you buy them.

There is a good chance they will not sell them to you.

All they'd have to do is pul their cell out and look on ebay.

Say it's a Fair copy of Action 252.

They go on eBay and see copies listed at $10,000 BIN's.

Then you're screwed.

I would pay him his asking price, and then pay him more, after I went home and put the book (s) in my house.
Post 6 IP   flag post
Collector IronMan private msg quote post Address this user
As a comic book dealer I have sold God knows how many books way too cheap. Just this most recent catalog I had a Wonder Woman 160 in vg/fn sell for $18. I missed the fact that the Cheetah was going to be in the next WW film. Of course the next 15 phone calls reminded me every time that the caller #1 got a bargain.

Ultimately, it's up to sellers to know what they have and what it's worth. It's not like the information is unobtainable.

I find the question entirely theoretical though. I hate purchasing "found comics" from non-collectors. No matter the offer, no matter how fair they always fear they are being cheated. They can't grade, they are too stupid to look at anything but the BIN prices of listings on eBay. Advance search? Actual sales? VG isn't the same price as NM? Might as well be speaking Latin. I much prefer to buy a collection from a collector that is getting married, divorced or buying a house. They know what they have, they understand the balance between maximum price realized versus cash right now.
Post 7 IP   flag post
Collector Wraith private msg quote post Address this user
Buy buy buy. After attempting to haggle the price down
Post 8 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR drchaos private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith
Buy buy buy. After attempting to haggle the price down

My man!
Post 9 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR kaptainmyke private msg quote post Address this user
offer 25
Post 10 IP   flag post
Collector Tedsaid private msg quote post Address this user
Maybe don't compare it to what you could get after putting a lot of effort in to sell to collectors over a couple weeks or months. I think you should compare it to what you could get if you walked right into a comic shop and offered them for sale. That's not going to be $1000 in your example; it will likely be $100 or less.

So yeah ... offer him $25, see if he takes it. Then sell one you don't want to pay for it all, and dump all the others you don't want at a comic store. Then you have something you want for free.

But just keep thinking about how that comic shop guy would lowball you. That will help you keep your offer price down.
Post 11 IP   flag post
Collector brandon77 private msg quote post Address this user
This makes a ton of sense - thanks!

"Maybe don't compare it to what you could get after putting a lot of effort in to sell to collectors over a couple weeks or months. I think you should compare it to what you could get if you walked right into a comic shop and offered them for sale. That's not going to be $1000 in your example; it will likely be $100 or less.

So yeah ... offer him $25, see if he takes it. Then sell one you don't want to pay for it all, and dump all the others you don't want at a comic store. Then you have something you want for free."
Post 12 IP   flag post
Collector Scorpion private msg quote post Address this user
if the seller did not take the time or effort to see what there worth, it not up to the buyer to let him know, i say take what you can.
Post 13 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
It really depends on the person and situation.

If it’s someone trying to sell things because they are broke, and either dont have the means or intelligence to figure out what they have, then yeah its messed up to take advantage.

Otherwise fair play
Post 14 IP   flag post
Collector kutworksinc private msg quote post Address this user
I've picked up a few 20$ books from some garage sale for next to nothing. If the seller is savvy enough to operate a smartphone, Im buying as cheap as possible.

If its some little old 75 year old lady who's husband died and she doesn't know what to do, I would pay a more respectable amount, even if it was more than she asked.

It boils down to morals. You know if its wrong or not.
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Collector Odins_Raven private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by kutworksinc
I've picked up a few 20$ books from some garage sale for next to nothing. If the seller is savvy enough to operate a smartphone, Im buying as cheap as possible.

If its some little old 75 year old lady who's husband died and she doesn't know what to do, I would pay a more respectable amount, even if it was more than she asked.

It boils down to morals. You know if its wrong or not.


This. I've had my skin crawl and blood boil by hearing collectors brag about how cheap they got some major keys from an old lady/man because they "didnt know what they had". Buying valuable books from elderly people for peanuts when you know they could be worth 100x more, isn't just ethically wrong in my mind it evokes words like fleecing, and scamming. Most older people are not as tech savvy and are generally more trusting than they should be, it disgusts me when people take advantage of that.
Post 16 IP   flag post
Collector KingNampa private msg quote post Address this user
Ethically you should buy them for at least cover price.
Post 17 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR conditionfreak private msg quote post Address this user
Flip the coin. Little old lady has a Space Inapak #1 from the 50's and because it is a #1 from when she was born. It just has to be worth a fortune. So she tells you the price is $1,000.00 and no matter how hard you try to explain it just ain't worth that much. She thinks you are lying to her. So you just leave and promise to return with a price guide to show her. But in the meantime,someone else gives her $900.00 for it.

Do you think the little old lady will give the buyer a refund later, after you return with a price guide and show her the actual book value?

No, she won't.

Caveat Emptor should apply to all parties
Post 18 IP   flag post
Collector doog private msg quote post Address this user
Hopefully there are a couple of Whiz #2 (#1) in there. Just sit on them for 5 years or so before you sell to avoid the potential lawsuit. One of many (apocryphal?) comic store owner, little old lady rip off stories of which there are many.
Post 19 IP   flag post
Collector brandon77 private msg quote post Address this user
She was in fact a nice, little old lady. And she had already approached a comic dealer and done some cursory Ebay research. Dealer offered her $70 for one of the binders, I'm guessing mainly for 2-3 ASM, X-Men books. But most of everything else was G/VG non-keys (far as I could tell) and 70s Archies/90's Superman, other battered Bronze DC titles. She had an idea that the whole lot could fetch around "$300-$400" and I suppose to primarily an Archie/Supes fan, that's not too far off. Lots of 9.8 ready 'Death of Superman' era copies, though not the actual #75.

About what I expected. I told her to keep in touch and if nothing came up, I'd give her $100 for everything, acknowledging the low offer as these weren't of personal interest to me. I told her she should hold out for some Archie enthusiasts (?) cause the 70s books she had were pretty nicely kept. Also gave her props for storing them in plastic sleeves in binders, which shows some degree of care for someone who wasn't into this as a hobby.

So, dilemma averted.
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Collector CaptainCanuck private msg quote post Address this user
@shrewbeer
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrewbeer
It really depends on the person and situation.

If it’s someone trying to sell things because they are broke, and either dont have the means or intelligence to figure out what they have, then yeah its messed up to take advantage.

Otherwise fair play

Attempting to extract such information from a seller could get a wee bit awkward.
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Collector Drogio private msg quote post Address this user
No two situations are exactly alike. Do what will not cause you to lose sleep at night and live with yourself during the day.

That's my advice. Be yourself and live without regret.
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COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainCanuck
@shrewbeer
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrewbeer
It really depends on the person and situation.

If it’s someone trying to sell things because they are broke, and either dont have the means or intelligence to figure out what they have, then yeah its messed up to take advantage.

Otherwise fair play

Attempting to extract such information from a seller could get a wee bit awkward.


Absolutely. Comes down to trusting your gut.
Post 23 IP   flag post
Collector Nuffsaid111 private msg quote post Address this user
Last year spiderman 129, all star western 10 and spiderman 39 at 3 different yard sales for less than $1. They were in a lot $40, $25 and $40 with other decent books. None were little old ladies or men. Two were guys in their 20s/30s. The other was a guy in roughly 60s. At no point did I feel bad. They could have looked up single issues if they wanted to
Post 24 IP   flag post
Collector GAC private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuffsaid111
At no point did I feel bad. They could have looked up single issues if they wanted to


Bingo! Agreed!!
Post 25 IP   flag post
Collector CopperAgeKids private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuffsaid111
Last year spiderman 129, all star western 10 and spiderman 39 at 3 different yard sales for less than $1. They were in a lot $40, $25 and $40 with other decent books. None were little old ladies or men. Two were guys in their 20s/30s. The other was a guy in roughly 60s. At no point did I feel bad. They could have looked up single issues if they wanted to




In that scenario, I would have bought those lots.Anyone would have, in their right mind.

After paying, I'd ask if they had more books, and ask for their number.

If they didn't have more books and didn't want to give their number to you, I would have swung back by after the books were sold, with some cash.

The decent thing to do would have been give each of those guys, $50 to a $100 each , after you sold the books.

Basically, a finders' fee.
Post 26 IP   flag post
Collector MR_SigS private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by poka
Quote:
Originally Posted by brandon77
Say you run across a group of books for sale at a yardsale or even from someone who's proclaiming they just want to "get rid of this junk..."

I'll give a specific (so far rhetorical) example:
Somebody is selling a bunch of knick-knacks including some old comic books. You know if you purchase these you can resell the books yourself (some runs, some standalone issues) to other collectors for, let's say $1,000 total. Granted, it would entail some effort and risk on your part, but again for the sake of argument let's say it's a pretty solid bet.

Let's say the seller will accept $50 on the spot. Do you feel the pang of conscience and disclose something to the effect of "maybe you should see how valuable these are before accepting such a small offer?" Or, do you just give them a heartfelt "thanks" and a handshake and bug out?


i would buy but give seller more money than asking. in the end your conscious so you do what makes you feel you didn’t cheat seller


I was just daydreaming this scenario yesterday, except in my daydream I give them more after the sale is made. This way the seller won't say, "Maybe I priced these wrong. I'd better research it," while it's still in their possession.
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Collector stanley1883 private msg quote post Address this user
to me it would be largely dependent on the situation if I'm being honest. the majority of the time, I wouldn't have any guilt, you should know what you're getting rid of. I would like to think I would have 2 exceptions, the first being the price point variance. If its a 1000 worth of comics being sold for $50-$100 im not worried, if i want to sell those it will take more time and effort on my part. But if they have high end keys or grails just ridiculously priced, then yes, I'd tell them and give them a brief 101.
The second exception would be the person, and this trumps the first exception. If you're a jerk and Im able to discern that you're a jerk within that short amount of time, no chance in hell im telling you anything. If its a nice person, or someone genuinely down on their luck, then yeah, i'd say something.
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Collector Savage_Spawn private msg quote post Address this user
Depends on the situation. I've bought plenty of blind "grab bags" thru the years. Lots of times at swap meets. I may have flipped thru a few of the comics but mostly don't even know what is in most of them at this point. I've got dozens of boxes, bags, tubs, notebooks, etc. of these. Obviously I can't go back and reimburse these and have hit some major keys (which at the time I probably wouldn't have known they were keys). If it were a situation where I did dig through them and found a key I might go back and give 10% of the value to the person. If a charity like salvation army or goodwill or thrift shop I'd make a donation to them. Most big used bookstores nope, they're paying pennies per comic and already doing well. Plus it's harder today as now they keep an open eye for key comics, although once in awhile one will slip through.
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Collector PaulPop private msg quote post Address this user
I did it and ran. Had a Craigslist ad show up. Woman said she inherited her Uncles comics. About 18 long boxes. She wanted to sell all for $12,000. Good and mediocre stuff. I said I couldn't afford that, would she sell any separately. Her answer was Yes, but they will cost me $1.50 each. I spent about $425, left with Daredevil 1, Avengers 4, 30 early 60's Action comics, old Batman, Metal Men, first Teen Titans appearance, first Spectre, a run of Lois Lanes, ASM 7, 17, 18, X-Men 4, 5, 6 and more. At this point, I can't even remember all of them. I pretty much walked out with all her silver age. Plus a run of Watchmen. Sorry, I suck, I never looked back.

I even managed to beat the local comic dealer there and showed him what I was leaving with. It was glorious.
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